Alberto Ortega makes a drive to the basket against the Contra Costa College Comets Friday, Nov. 8. The Cougars won their home opener 63-57. Photo by Brian Walters

Cougars shine like real shooting stars against the Comets

On Friday, Nov. 9 the Cougars hosted Contra Costa College in their 2019-20 season home opener. This was a slugfest for the entire 40 minutes that did not disappoint the home crowd.

Lassen was in control from the opening tip, penetrating the long Contra Costa defense almost at will. On the other end the stifling Cougar defense held the Comets to a low shooting percentage until the final five minutes of the first half.

During this time the Lassen offense went cold and began impacting the effort on the other end of the floor. Lassen saw their seven-point lead turn into a two-point deficit going into the halftime break.

The second half began with Contra Costa jumping all over the Cougars, creating consecutive turnovers which they immediately converted into points. Despite the shaky start, Lassen was able to regroup and tie the game back up with less than 10 minutes to go.

As the pressure mounted, the Cougars kept their poise and composure as they methodically pounded the ball inside, converting layups and free throws to not only retake the lead but take it for good. The Cougars finished on top 63-57.

Sophomore Mykyta Kalin led all scorers with 16 points, followed by fellow sophomores Andre Davis who added 13 and Frederick Murphy who had 11 points. Alberto Ortega also added eight points to go along with his four assists, and Jordan Mukenga had a monstrous 17 rebounds.

“This was a total team win. It took everyone and every ounce of effort to come out on top tonight. Contra Costa is a very tough and talented team, and the fact we were able to stay toe-to-toe with them says a lot about this group’s character. I am really looking forward to see what this group can continue to do,” said Coach Will Freedman.